Virago writers include bestselling and prize-winning authors such as Sarah Waters, Linda Grant, Marilynne Robinson, Sarah Dunant, Maya Angelou and Margaret Atwood, as well as writers of some of the most provocative and original non-fiction being published today, including Lyndall Gordon Kate Figes and Natasha Walter. Virago Modern Classics, an imprint dedicated to rediscovering and republishing lost literary gems, also thrives as the classics continue to showcase writers whose work will entertain, enthuse and inspire readers for decades to come.
Maya Angelou has written seven volumes of autobiography, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Singer, dancer, actor, director, she was active in the Civil Rights movement. She was asked to read her poem at President Clinton’s inauguration.
Lisa Appignanesi was born in Poland and grew up in France and Canada. She is the author of several novels and works of non-fiction including Mad, Bad and Sad, Losing the Dead, All About Love and the forthcoming Trials of Passion. In 2013 Lisa Appignanesi was awarded the OBE.
Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa in 1939. She is Canada’s most eminent novelist and poet is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. The Handmaid’s Tale, Cat’s Eye and Alias Grace have all been shortlisted for the Booker Prize and she has won many literary prizes in other…
Joan Bakewell has been a broadcaster for over forty years and a print journalist for over twenty. She is the author of memoirs and two novels, All the Nice Girls and She’s Leaving Home. Joan Bakewell was made a Dame in 2008.
Nina Bawden wrote over forty novels for adults and children, the most famous being Carrie’s War. She was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Circles of Deceit and the Lost Man Booker Prize for The Birds on the Trees. She wrote a memoir, Dear Austen. She died at the age of eighty-seven in 2012.
Joanna Bourke is Professor of History at Birkbeck College in London. She is the author of several works of non-fiction, including Rape: A History from 1860 to the Present; Fear: A Cultural History; What it Means to be Human: Reflections from 1791 to the Present and An Intimate History of Killing, which won the Wolfson…
Susie Boyt is the author of five acclaimed novels, including The Small Hours and a memoir, My Judy Garland Life, which was shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley Prize in 2010.
Sarah Churchwell is Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of East Anglia. She is the author of The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe (Granta 2004) and Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby.
Amanda Coe is a novelist and screenwriter. Her most recent original screenplay was an adaptation of Room at the Top for BBC4, starring Maxine Peake. Her novel What They Do in the Dark was published in 2011.
Rachel Cooke is a journalist and author. At the 2006 British Press Awards she was named Interviewer of the Year. Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties will be published by Virago in 2013.
Stella Duffy is an author, playwright, actor and theatre director. She has written many novels, the most recent of which are Theodora and The Purple Shroud.
Sarah Dunant is the internationally bestselling writer of many books, including her Italian historical novels, the most recent of which is Blood & Beauty.
Kate Figes is the author of two novels and five works of nonfiction including Couples: How We Make Love Last and her most recent, Our Cheating Hearts: Love and Loyalty, Lust and Lies.
Victoria Glendinning is a biographer, broadcaster, critic and novelist. Her first book, now republished by Virago, was A Suppressed Cry: The Short Life of a Victorian Daughter, which is a biography of her great-aunt.
Lyndall Gordon is the prize-winning author of six biographies, including The Imperfect Life of T. S. Eliot; Virginia Woolf: A Writer’s Life; Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft; and Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family’s Feuds. In 2014 Virago published the memoir of her own life, Divided Lives: Dreams of a Mother…
Linda Grant is a novelist and journalist. She won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2000 and the Lettre Ulysses Prize for Literary Reportage in 2006, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2008 for The Clothes on Their Backs. Her most recent novel is We Had it So Good.
Yasmin Hai is a current affairs journalist and documentary producer/director. She is the author of The Making of Mr Hai’s Daughter: Becoming British.
Lauren Liebenberg grew up in Rhodesia during the civil war. Her first novel, The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers 2008. She is the author of a second novel, The West Rand Jive Cats Boxing Club.
Anna May Mangan has been shortlisted for several short fiction awards, including the RTÉ Radio/Frank MacManus Short Story Competition and is the author of Me and Mine, a memoir.
Paula McLain is a poet, memoirist and novelist. Her most recent novel, The Paris Wife, an international bestseller, was published in 2011.
Claire Messud’s latest novel, The Woman Upstairs, was published in May 2013. She is the author of four other novels, including The Emperor’s Children, and two novellas.
Jane Miller worked at the London University Institute of Education before retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1998. She is the author of Crazy Age: Thoughts on Being Old.
Raynes Minns is the author of Bombers and Mash: The Domestic Front 1939–1945.
Kate Mosse is the author of Labyrinth, Sepulchre and, most recently, Citadel, the final book in the Languedoc Trilogy. Kate Mosse is the co-founder of the Women’s Prize for Fiction (previously the Orange Prize). Her first book, Becoming a Mother, was published by Virago.
Chioma Okereke is the author of Bitter Leaf. In 2013 she was shortlisted for the inaugural Costa Short Story Award.
Frances Osborne is the author of two memoirs, Lilla’s Feast and The Bolter, which was a Sunday Times bestseller. She has also written a novel, Park Lane.
Michèle Roberts, poet, essayist, and author of fifteen works of fiction, was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France in 2000. Daughter of the House was shortlisted for the Booker in 1992. Her most recent novel, Ignorance, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2013.
Charlotte Rogan’s acclaimed debut novel, The Lifeboat, was published in 2012.
Hannah Rothschild is a film director and the author of The Baroness: The Search for Nica, the Rebellious Rothschild, a biography of her great-aunt.
Elaine Showalter is the author of many works of non-fiction including A Literature of Their Own and A Jury of Her Peers.
Elizabeth Speller is the author of the bestselling Richard & Judy pick The Return of Captain John Emmett and its follow-up, The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton. In November 2013 Virago will publish her third novel, At Break of Day.
Tracey Thorn was singer and songwriter with Everything But The Girl from 1982 to 2000, and since 2007 has released three solo albums, Out of the Woods, Love and Its Opposite and Tinsel and Lights. She is the author of the Sunday Times top-ten bestselling memoir Bedsit Disco Queen.
Sandi Toksvig is well known for her television and radio work as a presenter, writer and actor; she has also written more than twenty books for children and adults. Her most recent novel, Valentine Grey, is her first book to be published by Virago.
Katie Ward is the author of the widely praised Girl Reading, a TV Bookclub pick, and the recipient of the Clarissa Luard Award in 2013, for which she was nominated by Hilary Mantel.
Sarah Waters is the bestselling author of Tipping the Velvet, Fingersmith, Affinity, The Night Watch and The Little Stranger. She has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Man Booker Prize, and won the South Bank Show Award for Literature.
Naomi Wolf is at the forefront of contemporary feminist thought and has written five seminal books including The Beauty Myth and, most recently, Vagina: A New Biography.
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The Virago 40 Authors
Below you will find information on the authors featured in our Virago is 40: a celebration ebook. We asked these authors to write something inspired by the number forty to celebrate forty years of Virago, and we’re very grateful for their diverse, heartfelt and entertaining responses!